Text: Acts 11:20-23
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” (Phi 2:12)
Leading the female competitors at the 26-mile race for almost two hours and with just over 300 meters to go during the Austin Marathon, the 29-year-old Kenyan Hyvon Ngetich fell down to her knees, her body shutting down after being pushed to its limits. Yet, Ngetich determined to persevere despite the physical obstacles. Instead of accepting assistance from the race medical staff, the runner crawled to the finish line on hands and knees to the amazement of the officials and onlookers.
Our Lord Himself said, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matt 24:13). This is in contrast to the doctrine of eternal security, that is, “once saved, saved forever”.
In our text for today, Barnabas encouraged the new believers at Antioch to continue in the Lord. Let’s look at three levels of salvation (Acts 23:11). The first is when you repent and accept by faith the righteousness which is through Christ Jesus. This is to be born again “For by grace you have been saved through faith…,” (Eph 2:8). You have been saved. What next after attaining this stage? “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (I Cor 1:18). Notice the tense used here … to us who are being saved. The Message Bible describes it as …”those on the way of salvation”. This means, even though you had a good start, you are still on the way of salvation. Your salvation is not conclusive. The third stage is the final salvation. “…we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom 5:10). This is futuristic. This should be the goal of all believers. So, we have been saved; we are being saved; and we shall be saved.
Friends, you are in a race. Don’t stop at the starting point but persevere until you finish. Don’t be caught in the doctrine of eternal security. Even if you have to crawl, make sure you finish the race.
1. Father, help me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling and to press on to the finish line in Jesus name.
2. Father, open the eyes of Your children caught in the error of the doctrine of eternal security and deliver them in Jesus name.
1. I am saved, being saved and will be saved.
2. I don’t stop at knowing that I am saved, I daily work out my salvation so I will be saved at last.